Yellow Death


Day One: Sore throat, malaise

Day Two: Fever, vomiting

Day Three: Headache, muscle weakness

Day Four: Severe dehydration

Day Five: Delirious, organ failure

Most people were dead by day six. Doctor Steven Ford was on day four.

The Yellow Death – named for the beautiful, colorful insect that he engineered to carry the virus – moved swiftly and mercilessly. He had performed his job well… but he made just one mistake.

In his final lucid moments, he wondered where he went wrong. His one regret? Not the covert meetings nor the dirty money. It was not making sure that he wasn’t resistant to the antidote.



Photo credit: Shaktiki Sharma

It has been a long time since I participated in Friday Fictioneers! Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.


Breaking Free (Friday Fictioneers)


Tripp shouted joyfully as he hurtled through space, turning somersaults. He shot through the portal and sped toward Earth.

As a retriever, Tripp had the coolest job in the afterlife. Working with the newly departed wasn’t always easy, though. Some resisted. He didn’t understand why people wanted to stay anchored to such a dreadful place. Death was the best thing that ever happened to him.

He flew into Kaya’s drab hospital room and immediately knew she was a kindred spirit. After a long, hard battle, she was ready and eager. He smiled, took her hand and led her to freedom.




Photo credit: C. Hase

This is my offering for Friday Fictioneers. Hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this group of writers meets weekly to share flash fiction stories (around 100 words) based on a photo prompt. Go here and click the blue froggy button to read the other stories.





In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Loving Memory.”

Today Word Press asks me to write my own obituary.

Today is my birthday.  While I am not old, I am getting older.  I am tired and I have aches and pains.  My metabolism is slowing down.  My body is starting to betray me.  But I have a lot of life left to live (or so I hope).

But today –  on my 41st birthday – Word Press has decided to throw me in the grave and start piling on the dirt.  Not today, Word Press.  Not today.

In the last several years, I have seen way too many loved ones taken before their time.  Cancer.  Chronic illness.  Accidents.  I refuse to dwell on death.

To me, it doesn’t matter what pretty words are in the obituary.  What does matter are the feelings and memories that are left in the hearts of the people we leave behind.

So go out today and love.  Make memories.  Live.  That’s what I will be doing.

Letting Go

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“I’m tired. I’m ready to go. I love you so much.”

It was the last text message that she sent.

Twenty-two years locked in a broken body, she had no movement except for her wrists and hands. She could not even speak because of the breathing tube in her throat. Her body was riddled with contractures that made it hard to find comfort.  This night was the last in a long line of hospital stays to treat the increasing lung infections. Muscular dystrophy was cold and cruel.

She may have been ready to leave that body, but she was still hesitant to go. While her life was no picnic, it was all she knew. She looked at her mother – her whole world – sitting on the edge of her bed, tears were flowing freely. She hated to think of her mother in so much pain. She would move heaven and earth to be able to take away that woman’s grief. She didn’t want to leave her.

She knew the time was growing near and she squeezed her mother’s hand, partly in panic – wanting to keep that connection, to communicate. Here with mother she was safe and so loved. Everything that lay beyond was unknown.

She had thought often of the end of her life, those final moments. She was not prepared for the conflict – sadness, disappointment, regret, fear, anticipation, relief. They were warring inside of her, noisy and tumultuous.

“Baby, it’s okay. It’s okay to let go,” her mother said, choking back tears.

And she did, later that night, let go.  I like to think that her soul danced into that light with an ease and fluidity that she never knew on this earth.


A/N:  Dedicated to Victoria. Fly high, sweet girl. You will be missed.